Dangers of Erythritol

By Matthew Lee

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that naturally occurs in peaches, melons, pears and grapes. The benefits of using erythritol as an added sweetener in foods include the fact that it is nontoxic, has antioxidant properties, provides few calories, doesn't contribute to tooth decay and has little effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. However, your body has some difficulties digesting large quantities of erythritol. In addition, erythritol can cause allergic reactions, so it isn't necessarily safe for everyone.

Sweetener

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that naturally occurs in peaches, melons, pears and grapes. The benefits of using erythritol as an added sweetener in foods include the fact that it is nontoxic, has antioxidant properties, provides few calories, doesn't contribute to tooth decay and has little effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. However, your body has some difficulties digesting large quantities of erythritol. In addition, erythritol can cause allergic reactions, so it isn't necessarily safe for everyone.

Digestive Issues

Although your body can usually deal with moderate amounts of erythritol, a study published in 2007 in the "European Journal of Clinical Nutrition" indicates that you might have difficulties with larger quantities. In comparison with sucrose, a more common sweetener, eating 50 grams or more of erythritol boosts your chances of experiencing nausea, digestive rumblings and diarrhea. Symptoms occur only at large doses for many people, but if you normally experience irritable bowel symptoms, you may have trouble when consuming smaller amounts of erythritol-sweetened foods and drinks.

Allergic Reactions

Although extremely rare, erythritol might cause an allergic reaction in some people. A case study published in 2000 in the "Journal of Dermatology" suggests that drinks sweetened with erythritol can potentially cause a severe allergic skin reaction. Because food allergies can cause symptoms throughout your body, you should consult your doctor if your experience any negative reactions to foods and drinks containing erythritol.

References

About the Author

Matthew Lee has been writing professionally since 2007. Past and current research projects have explored the effect of a diagnosis of breast cancer on lifestyle and mental health and adherence to lifestyle-based (i.e. nutrition and exercise) and drug therapy treatment programs. He holds a Master of Arts in psychology from Carleton University and is working toward his doctorate in health psychology.

Related Articles

More Related